"If we were still playing now we would not have scored tonight," Mark Bower admitted post-match after seeing his Bradford (Park Avenue) team fail to create much in their 2-0 defeat to Southport at the Horsfall Stadium.

Two goals either side of the break from Jordan Archer and Connor Woods halted Avenue's previous run of four matches unbeaten in the Vanarama National League North.

However, it was the hosts' efforts at the other end which really disappointed their boss.

Adam Nowakowski heading over before being unable to capitalise on a Dan Hanford mistake were the two only real chances in a lacklustre forward showing.

Bower said: "We just didn’t produce the quality that we had on Saturday (in their 4-4 draw at Gloucester City) to get ourselves in front. The lads give everything but we just couldn’t turn the screw.

"We had opportunities to go in front and in games like that you have to be clinical. When it counted in the final third we were just short of quality.

"It was just one of those nights. With all the ball we had around their box, a Brad Dockerty or Oli Johnson may have made the difference for us. It makes it obvious we need to do a bit more up there.

"Tonight is the game where we have least looked like scoring this season and it just brings us back down to earth. The lads have been buzzing after the last couple of results and it is a reality check tonight."

Southport played with five at the back, more than happy to allow Avenue to dominate possession so they could try their luck on the break.

The Bradford manager complimented the visitors on their defensive approach and believes his side can only blame themselves.

He added: "They have done the job on us that we did to Alfreton (2-0 win), a couple of weeks ago.

"They are first team that have come here and shown us respect after we scored four at the weekend. They were not adventurous, they camped in, and sat on the edge of the box.

"As soon as they went in front it was perfect for how they set up. They came and did a good job on us.

"Ultimately, they will come away feeling like they have kept a comfortable clean sheet and nicked a couple."